A startup has introduced the UK’s first solution to rising energy costs – data center heat.
The company, called Deep Green, installs small cloud data centers at local businesses. The system then transfers the heat from the servers to hot water at the host site.
Deep Green provides the equipment for free and reimburses the electricity costs. As a result, the customer can reduce their carbon emissions and energy costs.
Instead, Deep Green is getting a home for a data center that supplies computing power for AI and machine learning to customers.
“Digital boilers” are now coming to public pools battling rising energy costs.
In the UK, 85 swimming pools have closed since 2019, the Guardian reported last week. According to trade organization UK Active, 31% of council areas in England could lose or reduce their leisure centers after the current energy support scheme ends on 1 April.
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Deep Green today revealed that a Devon fitness club is already using a digital boiler. Seven other pools in England have also signed up for the scheme.
To heat them, data center computers are immersed in mineral oil, which absorbs heat from the machines. The output is then recycled through a heat exchanger and into water.
The temperature is raised only when necessary. According to Deep Green, the system can reduce pool gas needs by more than 62%, save £20,000 a year and reduce annual carbon emissions by 25.8 tonnes.
Deep Green’s technology is unusual, but it’s far from the first company to recycle data center heat.
The concept is particularly popular in the Nordic region. In Finland, for example, projects are underway use waste heat from two new Microsoft data centers to heat homes and businesses in and around Helsinki.
The project, however, relies on extensive public infrastructure. The data centers will connect to a network of 900 km of underground pipes to reach users in the region.
Deep Green takes a very different approach.
“Instead of building a data center and finding ways to connect it to local communities, Deep Green places data centers directly where heat is needed,” Deep Green CEO Mark Bjornsgaard told TNW via email.
“Using a modular approach and building our data centers “in the fabric of society” we bring heat to the user, reducing the energy lost in transport and increasing the efficiency of energy recovery.
According to Bjornsgaard, about 30% of industrial and commercial heat demand can be met with Deep Green’s technology.
Just don’t tell the crypto bros, or your local swimming pool may soon be hosting a Bitcoin mining rig.